Bars | Derrière (Paris)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 6 comments
Catherine Martin, costume designer and wife to Baz Luhrmann, fantastically curates the May/June issue of Vogue Living Australia.  It's billed very accurately as a collector's issue.  They pop in on Derrière, the new Paris bar/restaurant/club from Mourad Mazouz, the guy (excuse the pun) behind Momo and Sketch in London. He wanted it to seem like popping over to an incredibly lived in apartment.  Looks like he did the job.  (Photos of Derrière by Andrea Ferrari for Vogue Living Australia).

Porter's Possessions | Cormac, the Highland Bull

Monday, June 29, 2009 6 comments
Yes, we really, really thought the swans were it.  And yes, I'm beginning to sound like a broken record.  But Porter and I biked to Dumbo yesterday (no rain!) and stumbled upon this Highland Bull at the great little shop Re-Pop by the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Porter had to have him.  This purchase, named Cormac, has inspired some wall painting and a taxidermy shuffle. Photos of the re-org/re-paint pending!

Note 1: The Swans have been named Daedalus and Icarus

Note 2: Porter's Possessions was the name of the store our parents owned in Lincoln, Nebraska during the early '80s.  They were the first in town to carry Esprit, along with vintage kimonos, elephant hair bracelets and clothing made of natural fibers.

68 Washington Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Polaroid by Porter Hovey
Shops | Hollander + Lexer (Williamsburg)

Sunday, June 28, 2009 1 comment
The guys behind Hollander + Lexer (and Darr) opened a beautiful Hollander + Lexer Williamsburg outpost yesterday. It's much like the smaller original on Atlantic Ave. in Boerum Hill - dark walls (the original inspired us to paint our walls black), Santa Maria Novella colognes, Côté Bastide bath products - but offers a larger selection of menswear, including the in-house label and many great Japanese brands (and others).  

I love this linen shirt from Andrew Mason's Survival Equipment...

...and the wildly soft leather jackets from Japanese line Sisii.

(Photos by Porter Hovey)

Hollander + Lexer, 103 Metropolitan Ave. at Wythe
Unsolicited Advice | Vogue

Friday, June 26, 2009 18 comments
ELLE has trumped Vogue in ad sales for the first time.  So, I, a gal who spends countless hours a week on a non-revenue generating blog, have decided to weigh in.  I do realize that most of these ideas go against the principle of appeasing advertisers and actually making a profit, but I type nonetheless...

{1} Deceptively Simplify the Covers |  Someone, around 1991 or so, must have sent a massive memo to American and British magazine editors explaining that no one will read their publications if they don't splash ghastly hot pink or red words all over the cover. Let the picture tell the story -- like this or this.

{2} Go on Location | Traditional travel guides are generally terrible, so why not use your great taste and artistry to inspire us to flee (physically or just imaginatively) to far away lands (or Boston...or Cheyenne).  Dedicate each issue to a specific city and really delve in.  Every town provides a thousand different backdrops for editorial spreads. Tell us about the tiny boutiques and local labels like Domino did so wonderfully (yes, the Domino that went out of business), the places and lines that keep things interesting in the shadow of the ubiquitous megastores (yes, the ones that belong to your advertisers). Each issue will be a collector's item.

{3a} Give us the dirty details | There's one thing to creating the fantasy, but now that runway shows are online within hours, it's not enough to show key outfits from each collection. If you want us to invest in your advertisers' clothes, help explain why they cost what they do. Show us how they're made - one old woman's blood sweat and tears does justify $8,000 for a Birkin or a Balmain jacket. Couture gowns look beautiful, but they really look beautiful up close. Show us that hand stitching and a little of the process. You have access that we plebes could only dream of - and that no blogger will ever have. 

{3b} Go behind the scenes | Japanese hairdresser Katsuya Kamo (the guy who made all these phenomenal head pieces) created completely spectacular paper hats for the Spring 2009 Chanel Couture show. You pointed this out - and it was wonderful. We're not going to run out and buy paper (or bird) headdresses, but it's wildly interesting and inspiring nonetheless. More of that, please.

{4} More of the affordable stuff | This goes without saying, but if we're not treating ourselves to presents, it's nice to get a stocking stuffer or two.  Your shopping picks section at the end is great - expand it.  But when offering up bargains, make sure they're bargains. I treat money like VD - something to get rid of (I paraphrased that from something I read and loved), but I don't think I've ever spent more than $300 on an article of clothing. Bags and shoes, yes. Clothes, no.
The Natives | Karl Bodmer Takes on the West

Friday, June 26, 2009 2 comments

German aristocrat Prinz Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied (“Prince Max”) contracted the young Swiss-born Bodmer to accompany him on his 1830s era adventures along the Ohio and Missouri rivers with huntsman and taxidermist, David Dreidoppel.  Bodmer helped Prince Max overcome his frustration at the lack of legitimate, accurate images of a native people, images previously only associated with European aristocrats.  Prince Max used them to illustrate his famous book, Travels in the Interior of North America (re-published beautifully by Taschen). The North America Native Museum Zurich has also compiled many of Bodmer's 400 watercolors and sketches into the book, Karl Bodmer: A Swiss Artist in America 1809-1893. It's a beauty.

Well Hung (A Gallery/Museum Update) | Anglo Spainophiles

Thursday, June 25, 2009 3 comments
British appreciation and love of España are on display at the National Galleries of Scotland in the show "Spain: Goya to Picasso."  The exhibition explores the work of 19th and early 20th c. British artists like Sir David Wilkie, David Roberts, John Phillip and Arthur Melville who let Spain play a role as muse and collectors who used Spanish artists as a great excuse to spend money.  Up until Oct. 11.

(Above: El Greco's Lady in Fur Wrap
HHH Shopping Guide | Additions to the Sidebar

Thursday, June 25, 2009 10 comments

I've added a few destinations to my International (and/or online) Shopping Sidebar.
{2} Pearl River (New York)
{3} Parbuckles* (USA/online)
{4} La Manual Alpargatera (Barcelona)
{5} Wunderkammer (Melbourne)
{6} Hawkins + Hawkins (Edinburgh)

* The photos on the site are styled badly, making this a somewhat odd choice, but individual pieces look quite great.
Friends and Fam | Ryan Matthew Cohn's Workshop

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 6 comments
Here's a peek into the Greenpoint, Brooklyn workshop of my friend Ryan Matthew Cohn, silversmith, leather man, osteologist and taxidermy collector (he's the one who scored the five peacocks and the reason why two swans are flying in my living room).  He bought that skeleton off a woman upstate.  It belonged to her father, an Odd Fellow and Free Mason. She dismantled it and stuffed it into a duffel bag, which Ryan carried home, innocently, on the bus back to the city.

He learned Native American-style silversmithing from one of Ralph Lauren's first clients and later taught himself how to distress leather.  He made all those belts and the bandolier bag hanging on the left, as well as the canvas and leather one above the vintage all-leather postal bag. He recently launched an accessory line - Ryan Matthew - which he'll be selling through Against Nature, a men's shop he's starting with his friends. The shop will also offer custom tailoring from Amber Doyle and Jake Meuser (under the Doyle Meuser label) and SPJ denim.

Against Nature
Set to open in early August on Chrystie between Rivington and Delancey.

(Friends and Fam - a new series offering a peek into the homes of my friends and family)
Little Edie, The Early Years

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 12 comments
The incredible book, Edith Bouvier Beale of Grey Gardens: A Life in Pictures, shows Little Edie before the mess, the infestations and the Maysles. It's the glamorous girl we sort of saw in HBO's rendition, displayed through poems, notes and photos. It's sweet, divine and heart breaking. (Above, Little Edie in a gypsy costume shot by an unknown photographer in 1927). 

The cover of Little Edie's 1929 sketch book.

Little Edie and her friend Eleanor Maloney in 1933, East Hampton.

My uncle, a man whose mother annually posed him and his brothers into utterly perfect Christmas photos, always says, "The more perfect the Christmas photo, the more dysfunctional the family." I've always felt that way about letters. More letters, more dysfunction. 

Phelan Beale was a letter writer. And when he told his wife he was cutting her allowance, he let his secretary do the typing.

Modeling at the Lady's Village Improvement Society Fashion Show, East Hampton, 1940

East Hampton, 1951

1938 on the stoop of Grey Gardens with Spot

East Hampton, 1940 with Spot

East Hampton, 1951

East Hampton, 1951
Acquisitions | The Taxidermy Swan Song

Monday, June 22, 2009 16 comments
I honestly thought the last round was the end of it. No more, I told myself on Friday. Things have gotten out of hand. I did promise my friend Ryan I'd wake up early and hit the flea market with him - just to look! - (he and his friends are opening a bespoke tailor shop around the corner from Freeman's and he needs decor).  But it poured rain.  Saved from temptation! But then he called....  

"Get to Bushwick."  

Porter and I got there.  A stylist was selling his loot and damn, was it treasure.  Ryan picked up two taxidermied albino peacocks, three more generic turquoise peacocks (you know, the kind everyone has hanging around the house) and loads of other ephemera.  All for pennies.  I got the taxidermied swans.  Only $80 for the pair.  They once graced the window of a fancy store on Fifth Ave., positioned as if they were trying to poke each other's eyes out. Now they're flying slightly friendlier skies (albeit ones that are difficult to photograph -- it looks much better in real life, almost delicate juxtaposed with the flowers). I think this really has to be my last taxidermy purchase (although there is an empty space by the "office" - hum).

That wasn't all though.  We got this old sword...

and this vintage suit form (that almost caused a rumble)...

and this Austrian Victoria Blue Bird Box from Barneys (at one time).  
Acquisitions | Rope, Bag, Gloves, Room Spray

Friday, June 19, 2009 12 comments
{1} Rope from Home Depot to wrap around my banisters, {2} New-to-me Prada purse acquired at the great consignment shop INA on the walk home Wednesday, {3} Diptyque Choisya room spray (among many items) acquired at yesterday's sample sale at steep discounts, {4} New gloves! Gauntlet gloves for my Dances with Wolves days and the driving and crochet versions for all activities but driving. All from 

(Changing the title of this series to Gluttony very, very soon).